July
29th 2008
Baa Ram U: we don’t want to talk about it

Posted under: jobs, local news, students

Well, the local news is all het up about the Princeton Review rankings for colleges and universities in my state.  The headline for the story in today’s Denver Post (both in print and on-line) is “Higher, headier ed on campuses in Colorado?”  Well, only two of our colleges apparently have that reputation, and they’re pretty much the ones you would expect–the University of Colorado, Boulder, came in at third for pot use, thirteenth for party school, and fourteenth for liquor use; and Colorado College is seventh for pot.  Dog bites man, anyone? 

Fortunately, Baa Ram U. is not listed among the top drinking or drugging schools, but has the dubious distinction of ranking seventh in the category of “class discussions rare.”  That’s unsurprising–the other top schools in that category are also old Aggie schools whose traditional emphasis is science, engineering, and technology.  Still, it makes Historiann something of an eccentric in offering comparatively few lectures and spending at least half of class time on discussions.  My students aren’t that difficult to engage in class discussion, but then, they don’t act like they’re just dying to talk in class, either.

How did your schools rate?  Are you pleased, or were you dealt rank injustice this year?  Check it out here, and report your results in the comments.

 

8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Baa Ram U: we don’t want to talk about it”

  1. Notorious Ph.D. on 29 Jul 2008 at 10:54 am #

    Interesting. I wasn’t able to access the whole thing (apparently you have to buy it), but under the “similar schools” in the sidebar, my second-tier, first-generation state school apparently matches up with Berkeley and UCLA.

    Also, the average high school GPA of my students (3.34) has my own (2.81 — no, that’s not a typo) beat by a country mile. And yet, I think I was more prepared when I entered college. I don’t know if this says something about me, them, or secondary education in general, but there we are.

  2. Indyanna on 29 Jul 2008 at 11:04 am #

    Thanks for bringing this key metric to our attention, Historiann. Mine ranks high for “Dorms Like Dungeons.” Surely they meant “Dorms Like Dungeons and Dragons?” Actually, we’re knocking down every single dungeon and building a hot new academical village sort of complex known as “Suites on {your swanky name here” depending on the street front. The downside of this is that the History Department operates in a 1930s future Superfund site building with a “classrooms like Churchill’s War Rooms bunker” ambience, where you can’t hear yourself think for all the construction noise. No AC, so the windows are open to ear-splitting racket and any stray birds that want to fly in or out. Last year a crane boom swung to within inches of a bank of windows, sending the young scholars in that row scattering in terror. But, to get out of the “Dorms Like Dungeons” basement, I guess you just gotta suck it up on the faculty front. The other thing is, practically every building on campus ever named after a woman–including a dormgeon built by the school on a bequest from a retiring woman history professor!!!–are going down. But at least we’ll get some cool food courts.

  3. Knitting Clio on 29 Jul 2008 at 11:21 am #

    My university is rated so low that it’s not in the top 368 (we do get “one of best colleges for the real world” though). I am bummed that my alma mater has been bumped to 4th for “reefer madness” though. Time to legalize pot in the Green Mountain State!

  4. Historiann on 29 Jul 2008 at 11:40 am #

    KC, it isn’t legal in Vermont? Come on! I say legalize pot everywhere–pot smokers giggle a lot and fall asleep early. It’s the alcohol drinkers that get aggressive and beat each other up, set things on fire, and rape women. It’s a public health and safety issue! (Kinda like those dorms crashing down around Indyanna?)

    And Notorious: I think these days that high schools pretty much all have 5.0 grade scales, so that 3.4 is probably comparable to your 2.8. (At least, it seems to me that all of these valedictorians have reported GPAs of 4.5 or higher.) A 5.0 grade scale is just confusing–surely college is bound to disappoint those superstars who are used to having averages of higher than 4.0!

  5. Indyanna on 29 Jul 2008 at 11:52 am #

    Here’s what to do on the last point: Take the Advanced Placement concept and implement it in college, as in A.P. for life skills. Then bump up the GPAs for those credits. Like turn off the electronic security swipecard system in the rez halls one week a month to get kids ready for first jobs living in the outer boroughs, where you don’t have doormen. The U. of Pennsylvania recently bought an
    old residence hotel run by a religious group, the Divine Tracy Hotel, and turned it into a sumptuous spa-like and expensive undergrad option. A local columnist took his daughter there on a college visit and famously blurbed it as “Assisted Living for Post-Adolescents.”

  6. Historiann on 29 Jul 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    The Divine Tracy is no more? That place was a trip. Protestant “nuns” serving up high-quality vegetarian food, with a place set eternally for Father and Mother Divine! Did all of the old nuns die off? I hope some provision was made for them–or that they were the ones who made the sale, and can therefore provide for themselves in their old age.

    Dorm life ain’t what it used to be, back in the Jurrasic Age when we were all in college. (And the Jurassic Age for college is for everyone who graduated from college before 1995, I think.)

  7. Liz on 03 Aug 2008 at 10:52 pm #

    Not sure what it says about my school but we are ranked for having the happiest students and are a school with a conscience while having lots of hard liquor. I suspect that should actually say that we have lots of happy students drinking hard liquor until they are unconscious, but really it’s just quibbling.

  8. Historiann on 04 Aug 2008 at 5:48 am #

    Liz–thanks for stopping by to comment. Happy students with a conscience are a good thing, however they achieve that balance! You are fortunate in that.